A GAMBLER was so accustomed to large sums of money dropping into his account that he did not query more than £3,000 coming in from Oak Furniture Land, a court heard on Wednesday.

Arron Mitchell, 26, of Union Street, Swindon, pleaded guilty to retaining wrongful credit between September 8, 2015 and October 10 the same year when he appeared before District Judge Simon Cooper at Swindon Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Nick Barr told the judge the case arose from a conspiracy case involving the defrauding of Oak Furniture Land whereby various false refunds had been made to a number of people.

Mitchell had received a sum of £3,491.23 from the Swindon-based company but did not take any steps to return it to its rightful owner. He had no prior knowledge of the conspiracy, Mr Barr said.

Mark Glendenning, defending, said Mitchell accepted that he knew about the money but not where it had come from because he was used to money coming into his account from gambling wins.

The judge asked Mitchell how and on what sports he bet.

Mitchell replied that he used two on-line sites and at one time had won just over £5,500 in two weeks. Last Christmas he had won more than £1,000 every day for four days.

Mr Glendenning said Mitchell ran his own small company, a call centre, in Swindon.

Sentencing Mitchell to a 12-month community order with a requirement to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, the judge told him: “Three and a half thousand pounds flooded into your account and you failed to keep track of it.”

He ordered Mitchell to repay the money to Oak Furniture Land at the rate of £50 a week and to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.